Friday, November 13, 2009

Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup

4 lbs chicken (whole fryers, leg qtrs)
1 onion
2 cloves minced garlic
2 cans black beans
2 cups corn
Chicken bouillon
2 cups salsa
Salt to taste
½ tsp pepper
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
Tortilla chips
Shredded cheddar cheese

Boil and debone chicken, reserve broth. Skim fat from broth. Add bouillon and salsa. You may need to add more water. Drain beans and add all to pot except chips and cheese. Bring to boil, simmer 20 minutes.
Serve over broken tortilla chips – top with more broken chips and cheese.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Oatmeal Muffins

I've come up with my own version of a few recipes for oatmeal muffins.

1 cup old-fashioned oats, uncooked
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1/4 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon flavored extract
1 cup raisins, diced apples, blueberries, etc.

Mix oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl well. Add buttermilk, egg, oil and extract into oats; stir just to moisten ingredients. Add fruit.
Use cup cake papers or spray muffin pan with nonstick spray. Fill muffin cups to almost full, as there is not much rising with this recipe.
Bake 20 – 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
Makes 12 muffins.

My easy meat loaf

Easy Meatloaf

2 lbs ground beef
1 family size can cream mushroom (or other flavor)
1 box instant stuffing mix
2 eggs
OVEN: 425
Mix beef, stuffing, eggs, and ½ soup well. Shape loaf and place into foil lined meat loaf pan. Bake 30 minutes. Remove from oven and top with remaining soup and bake another 25-30 minutes.

You can substitute 2 cups salsa – 1 in mix 1 for “gravy” for a different flavor.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Baked Chicken Spaghetti

This recipe made dinner for 6, with leftovers for another complete meal! (woo-hoo - a night off!!)

Spaghetti pasta (I measure by full handful - use 1 handfull)
1/2 lb bacon
small onion diced(I prefer yellow)
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cup salsa (can use rotel if you prefer spicy)
Family size can Cream Mushroom soup
1 cup milk
1 lb velveeta cut in cubes
3-4 lbs cooked chicken, deboned and pieced
Parmesan cheese (fresh grated, not canned)

Break spaghetti noodles and cook. Drain. In large saucepan, cook bacon and onion until onion translucent and bacon is done to your preference. Add flour mix well. Add salsa, soup and milk. When thick and creamy, add cheese cubes and stir until cheese melted. Add chicken and spaghetti. Mix well.
Pour into casserole dish, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.
I may add green onions next time I make this.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Remembering 9/11/01

I remember every detail of September 11, 2001. Like everyone else, I sat glued to a television screen, not believing that America could be attacked.
But we were attacked. Our Freedom was attacked. Our nation was attacked! Our belief in God was attacked!
As I sat watching the smoke, the towers, the people... I prayed to God! I heard of more attacks, the pentagon and Flight 93. I saw the towers collapse. I prayed to God. I was not alone.
Churches were flooded with people turning to God for answers. Bookstores were short of bibles as the people ran to buy them. Lives were changed because people turned to God.
People gave from their abundance, and from their lack, to help those in need. People gave their food. People gave their time to help. People gave their prayer. People gave blood. People gave unselfishly.
America, for the first time in decades, actually came together, as One Nation Under God. It was an awesome event to see. People united in their faith and goal.
And then we began to hear the word "tolerance". We must tolerate, because everyone has a right to live. (removed my comment here...)
When we began to "tolerate", we began to separate. We were no longer united. We tolerated until we have forgotten.
I remember the planes, flaming out of the sides of the towers. I remember ash-covered people, in shock, walking dazed from the buildings. I remember seeing people jump, in desperation. I remember hearing "Another attack - the pentagon!" I remember the frenzy of information as planes were sought, and hearing that there was still one more plane...
I remember, vividly, and with horrifying detail, how slowly each tower seemed to fall, before our eyes. I remember seeing this on live tv! Watching the mass death of an attack on American soil. No one played any commercials.
The world stopped a couple of days, as Americans united to help each other. People drove hundreds of miles to give someone water or a sandwich. Everyone prayed together. Strangers talked, hugged, cried together.
9/11/09 I tried to watch a memorial. News talked about a few victims, showed a scene of a service or two. Families read names at the sites, and tv flashed them quickly across the tv screen. No one wore a flag lapel pin. No one was united. We have tolerated until we have forgotten.
I will not forget. I remember.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Free curriculum - Bible

This is my 12th/13th year to homeschool. I began midyear, after being thoroughly disapointed and discouraged with our schools here. The teachers quit trying to teach my children, who were bored in their classes. (I'm assuming you know bored children do anything to be un-bored!!) So, after seeing the teachers quit teaching my oldest son, I talked to Jerry and we decided that I could do a better job.
I began with an inexpensive all in one curriculum workbook, since I was starting a bit after mid year. It was ok, wasn't too impressed with it. He did learn, it was just not very interesting.

The next year, I tried Alpha Omega. Then SOS, then Abeka.... By this time, I was homeschooling my daughter, as well, so I was buying for 2 grades. I wasn't pleased and the kids were bored! Care to add up how much money I threw away?
So, I began googling. There were a few resources for homeschooling for free, but you had to spend hours looking for them. What a difference a few years makes! Now, it takes hours to go through the results!

So, I've decided to share some of our favorite resources. Here are my tried and true Bible resources along with the ages I use them for. Some color pages, I will use all through high school, as they still like to show their artistic ability.

For Younger kids (Pre-kinder through about 1st grade) This site has a quite a few bible stories with color pages and online activities, a memory verse section (some can get pretty long), and crafts for kids! Love the memory verses! has awesome color thru the bible sections. Great for all ages! If you look around the site, you will find resources for teens, adults, movie and game reviews, even the Dinosaur issue is discussed!

Lower Elementary (1st - 3rd grade
) This site can be used for beginning readers - each lesson can be printed or your child can read along on the computer. There is a printable worksheet/test upon completion.
Also, if you look around, you will find a wonderful bible study for young ladies here.... great for mom's too!

Mid-Elementary thru Jr high I use this for older kids. Detailed worksheets for going through the entire bible. Each lesson has about 7 pages - the last one being an ink hogging puzzle (I rarely print the last page) There are no answer keys I'm aware of.

Teens - mostly girls is the newest one I've found. I have done some as well as giving them to my daughter. There is a link to another page with even more young women studies. I liked the free one so much until I purchased the set. My daughter likes them more than any other study I've printed for her. This is the only one for sale, but we really liked it and it was so inexpensive.

Bible Tools
I have used a few online and tried a couple of download bible study programs, and I prefer Bible Explorer You can get over 200 free bibles and books with the free program. The bibles are reasonably priced. I like the multi window feature. AND, if you are reading a passage you wish to study further, you click on the passage, and the program displays all your resources on that topic, including commentaries, devotionals, art, maps, counseling, theology, etc... There is also a bible reading program that allows you to miss a few days and catch up, instead of always feeling overwhelmed when you have to take a few days off.

Tips For Older Kids

As my kids get older (or got older) they wanted to learn new things. You can purchase wood plaques at hobby stores, tracing paper and a wood burner tool for under $20.00.
Have your child trace the bible color page onto the plaque and trace using woodburning. If you use oil pastels, they can color areas. Then cover with a bit of a glaze. A little creativity and you can make clocks (clock kits sold), jewelry boxes, wall hangings, name plaques, etc....

You can also find a free cross stitch or embroidery program (or just trace). Trace the color page onto cloth and you can do a cross stitch or other embroidery. Plastic canvas works well, too.

Younger kids can trace a color page onto a blank tote bag, backpack, tshirt, apron, etc... and color or paint using fabric crayons, markers or paints.
Want to expand? How about beading? Buy alpha beads and let the kids make bracelets, bookmarks, etc, with their fav verse! Spell the book and verse, maybe add a few colorful beads or charms...

An older child could spell an entire verse with beads on wire and wrap a votive or other candle. (place on a candle holder, add a few glass rocks and you have a beautiful gift for a few bucks!!)

These are not all my resources or ideas for teaching bible, but they are my favorites and the ones most used. I find and try others, but keep coming back to KidsHeart, Garden of Praise, Calvary Chapel. Enjoy.

Monday, August 10, 2009

We have a groom...

No, not the wedding kind. Pixie was groomed. No trimming, but she got everything else.
It took us months to get her comfortable enough with the groomers to let them take her away from me for a few minutes for her bath. Elsie and Jennifer have been absolutely awesome in working with her!

Every week, I took her to Petco to visit the groomer. They would spend a few minutes getting Pixie familiar with what would happen during a groom.
Well, on Monday, August 3rd, Pixie received her first Strawberry Lemonade Spa treatment with a Blueberry Facial.
She did well until about halfway through, and I had to go help them hold her. She was then able to continue the grooming.

So, after about 30 minutes, Pixie had been fully groomed in her spa day, she received a strawberry lemonade collar charm and smelled wonderful for about 6 hours! At that point, the dog in her took over and rolled in the grass to get the "pretty" smell off. Not to worry - this mom bought puppy safe scented conditioning spray... LOL

As you can see, the final results. She was a bit antsy when they tried to clean her tear staing, so I cleaned them at home. However, she is fully conditioned, moisturized, pampered, and "charm"ing... Notice her charm - almost as big as she is! The bows lasted a couple of hours but matched her charms and a t-shirt I bought her! This is one pampered pooch!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Rescuing dogs

I've now had Pixie, my rescue chihuahua, for about 2 months. The changes in her are remarkable!
She had a floppy ear and was very insecure! She barked and whined anytime someone left the room. She had to be constantly by or on me.
Now, she is much more secure with her new home. She sits with me in the mornings, during prayer and bible time. As the kids begin to get up, she will slowly decide which child to spend time with, and sit with that child. Around noon, when hubby gets up, she sits with him a while. Evenings, she sits with someone or by herself! More and more often, she will lay on the floor, a pillow, or sofa, by herself for a nap. sShe does not feel the need to be on top of someone to be secure.
She will go into her crate when we leave and only bark a couple of minutes before quieting down to play and rest. When we return, she does not go into a barking frenzy, but waits until we open the door. She then jumps from person to person to greet them.
Her floppy ear is now standing straight out - Yoda style, just like a chi is supposed to do! She is getting a bit more fur, and it's much softer. She has gained over 3 lbs, and is borderline chunky. We call it "fluffy", as the humidity here makes for bad hair days for all... LOL! (yeah, vet didn't buy it either!)
We began with Science Diet and switched to cooking for her very quickly. She does not like her veggies, unless they are little frozen bits. But dogs are carnivores, so veggies aren't a necessity. If the dog feels the need for greens, they instinctively know which grass to chew on and how much.
Now that I see all the changes in her, I wish I had blogged and photographed each step!
I do have 2 short videos of her... is her "princess dance" and is my grandson laughing at her playing! (adorable baby laughs here)
I have decided that I will rescue another dog, but a bit later. Pixie has a lot to teach me about rescue dogs. And like Pixie, when the dog and the time are right, it will just happen.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Coffee Cookies

1/2 cup cooking oil
4 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
2 TBS instant coffee crystals
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup powdered sugar

Mix oil, cocoa, coffee crystals, and granulated sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well between. Add vanilla, flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well and refrigerate several hours.
Heat Oven to 350. roll tsp size ball into powdered sugar and place on greased baking sheet. Bake 9-12 minutes.

Friday, July 3, 2009

A man's dinner (or how to bribe your husband)

This dinner is a husband pleaser. It does not contain items from the government food pyramid, rather from the real man's triangle.

Thick pork chops - NOT boneless. (real men pick them up and eat them!)
Ranch style beans
Ice cream
Double stuff oreos
Chocolate syrup
Air freshener (lysol or stronger)

How you cook the pork chops depends on him... to just make him smile, you can broil them. To make him do backflips, fry them!

Mash up potatoes - the way HE likes them. That means a little salty...

Ranch style beans

Serve with his favorite beverage. For extra brownie points, serve on a TV tray with his favorite movie or sport on! And if you really want him to smile, let him wipe his hands on his shirt or the sofa...

When he's so stuffed he can't move, fill a big bowl with ice cream and top with oreos. Liberally drizzle chocolate sauce. Remove his dinner plate and place ice cream on his tv tray.

Do not expect him to do dishes this night - he's as stuffed as a tick and can't move.

Once you join him in the living room, expect "manly noises" to begin. Have your lysol ready, or invest in a timed automatic sprayer. Set for most frequent sprays on man dinner night.

Dog teaching God...

Since I've adopted Pixie, I've seen a variety of lessons God is trying to teach me in her!
First, I have promised to pray regularly, but always get tired, something comes up, don't feel like it, etc... Well, we adopted our dog and dog's don't know excuses. They know routine. If you wake up every morning and take them outside, then to your prayer closet, they learn that after waking up, the prayer closet is the place to go.
So, when I have a lazy day and try to sleep in, she whines until I get up. When I have a lazy day and try to sit and watch tv instead, she whines at the door of the classroom until I sit in the chair where she gets on my lap.
Since none of my friends are up at 5:00 am to chat, there is no excuse once I get to my desk. A little, abandoned dog has taught me a lesson on commitment. On being faithful.
Second is unconditional love. I am the one who rescued the dog, I cook for her, I train her and she is mine. But, let my granddaughter hold her cookie too low, and Pixie loves her for being short and "offering" a treat. Rub her belly and she loves you. It's not what you have done repeatedly for her, you just walk in my house and she is ready to love you. It's really that easy!
Third is how to rest in God. My husband is a doom and gloom kind of person, searching the net for all the doomsday info. It gets rather scary for the kids to hear it, and depressing to hear all the horror going on. I was getting very stressed over it, until I began to watch my dog. She has her "people" for times. Every morning, she lays on my lap, and just rests. No cares, no worries, just rest. Every afternoon, she rests on hubby's lap or by his leg. Every evening, it's the kids, taking turns to share the love with all of them. She doesn't worry about food, money, or chasing cats (ok, sometimes she will stop and chase a cat). But resting in God is that easy. You just DO IT.
So, I guess Preacher Pixie was supposed to be my dog from the start. She kept running away from people to get to me, because I've been praying for help to be faithful in my prayer life, to learn to love unconditionally, and to rest in God and not worry.
Now, should I tell my pastor that my pooch is preaching and reaching me better than he is at the moment?? LOL!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Two year olds are awesome!!!

After years of avoiding working in the 2 year old room at our old church, I signed up to coordinate the toddler room. The kids have begun to have small group lessons in a separate room, to avoid distractions of too many kids or toys.
This has the little guys actually listening to and learning the lesson! Last Sunday, I had my first 2 yr old say our memory verse... well, a shortened version supplied by the curriculum we use. I gave him a hi-5 and he kept saying it. He actually shouted it when he changed rooms!!
We then had a situation with a toddler and his brother getting sick. The little guy was concerned so I asked if he wanted to pray. He said yes and took my hands. Well, all the kids saw us praying and began to grab hands. Before I could finish a prayer condensed and simplified for 2 yr olds to repeat, almost every child in the class was in the circle trying to pray.
Since, other kids have begun to say our memory verse. When a child falls (which always happens in groups of kids) we pray "Ouchie go away in Jesus name". I start and several of the kids will come up and say their version while laying their hands on the fallen child.
Seeing these little guys and their innocent faith is so awesome! I have been truly blessed to be allowed to work with them.

Pixie progress

Well, I've been a responsible pet owner. I had Pixie spayed two weeks ago. When the vet saw her, she told my daughter that I'm the 5th owner of this little dog, who they guess is about 13 months old. Seems there was a shelter a return, shelter return, an adoption and abandoned, adopted and abandoned then me... all in 1 short year.
I could understand if this were a ferocious pit bull attacking and mauling everything that breathes... but this sweet little dog mainly licks!
She is doing wonderful in her obedience training. She can Sit, Lay Down, Come, and Go In her House (crate). She can do these all with treats, sometimes without treats.
She is learning Turn Around, but this is tricky. If done in a certain way, she cowers down, as if I'm going to hit her. It's mainly turning clockwise, where I move my hand from her head around to her back right leg (which has a sometimes limp - it's not every step)
We are also working on Shake, but she has issues with touching her paws - unless in the bathroom. This will take some time to overcome, but the kids really want a dog to shake.
She has gained 1 1/2 pounds and is a bit over 6#. She is maybe a half pound overweight. We are working on fat to muscle and cut most carbs in her diet. Her treats are oven dried liver or chicken breast, lower in fat and calories, so she can train and have more than store bought treats! I prefer (so does she) the chicken ones. She has transitioned fully to home-made food (and treats) except for a sushi chew from petco.
Petco is still working with her on getting her to allow grooming. I know dogs would never get their nails done and bows in the wild, but Pixie isn't in the wild and I want a fully groomed dog for our Thanksgiving trip and Christmas. She really does not have enough fur to put a bow on her head, so we are considering a gel colored mohawk for special events.
She now leaves my lap. Except in the mornings. Every morning, we get up at 5:15 for my prayer time. I can't hit snooze or skip prayer, as she will fuss at me. This keeps me praying daily, without fail, no matter how tired I am. (she should get a click and treat for this)
She stay on my lap during prayer and bible study time. The moment my granddaughter walks in the door, Pixie is up and full of energy. Days I don't have grandkids. she sleeps on my lap until I make breakfast.
She takes morning walks with different family members. I make everyone take turns so she will walk with everyone. We are not allowing afternoon or evening walks due to heatwave. However, she loves to play Hide And Seek with the kids. After about 5 minutes, it turns into full blown chasing games. Then she wants to run after and "kill" her loofah dog toy. When she is ready to chase the toy for the kill again, she drops it in front of us. But she won't fetch yet, unless on leash and guided back the first time.
All in all, she has made wonderful progress. I am concerned about the history of abuse and how to correctly handle this. But I'm finding loads of information on several sites. Two that I use faithfully are

Both offer articles on positive correction/training of dogs. Pet Expertise has a neat free training book to download. It's different in that it has a progress chart and each action in various situations.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

concerned about dog food

I adopted Pixie from a vet, and assumed (oh, bad, bad, thing to do) that the food the vet put her on was the best for her. After all, a vet is there to take care of our animals.
Well, 5 weeks into owning Pixie, I asked around about possibly controlling some of her anxiety through diet. That is when my eyes were opened to the horrifying world of pet food. The more I research, the more I'm disgusted. Soylent Green...
I have discovered that the leading brands, the brands I have come to trust over the years, put horrible stuff in pet food. Dogs can't digest corn, and many use corn as a main ingredient.
So, along with reading my kids food labels, I'm now reading dog food labels. But, it's coming more and more possible that I will cook for my dog. Except for a few supplements, everything dogs need, I serve my family. Normally, cooking for dogs is expensive - but Pixie is tiny. She finally hit the over 5# mark!
I'm still researching, and watching her.
This week, she is eating ground chuck. The little rascal actually pulls green beans out, but dogs don't really need veggies, and there are better ones for her. I add a little oatmeal to is, fish oil,and mix with a bit of her kibble, to convert her over. She hasn't liked chicken so far.
Since I can't repost the study info, I can tell these things.
Dog food should have specific meats as the first few ingredients - beef, chicken, pork. Not by products. Fats and meal should specify which fat and meal - not just animal fat. Check chemicals - some that have been banned from human food is in our dog food. These additives are known carcinogens and are not regulated by any animal agency.
All the information I've read is based on findings by the US gov and veterinary groups. BUT - I take studies with a grain of salt. You can find studies showing coffee is good and bad for you.
Pixie, will be enjoying healthier foods cooked by me, and I will supplement her with a natural dog food.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Pixie learns to play

Pixie was a rescue dog, so we don't know about her past. When we got her, she didn't know how to play. She didn't like any toys.
It has been 4 weeks, and through patience, trial and error, and assistnace from Petco in Pasadena, she has found a couple of toys she likes (she prefers stuffed, soft toys).
She likes a Cesar Milan Squirrel that is almost at big as she is. She attacks the squirrel on a regular basis.
After 1 weekend of tossing and tugging, she now plays a fetch type game with her stuffed butterfly.
On occasion, she will chase a small tennis ball, but quickly looses interest, preferring her stuffed animals.
She does like her puppy kong filled with treats when we leave. And she likes the Petco "sushi roll" chews. Either of these will keep her playing and chewing quietly.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Walk by Faith, not by Sight...

I have heard this at church and from every preacher, pastor and evangelist alive. It seems to be the heart-cry of many during this time. Like everyone else, I keep trying. Like everyone else, I mess up.
But God is so good, He meets me on my level, and teaches me His way.
Walk by Faith, not by Sight... Ok.
So, my gas gauge is now broken - sort of. It works sometimes. I never know when it is working. I fill up and the next day, the need gas light comes on. Common sense tells me to check the gas, go and top off, if necessary... the light is on and it's there for a reason.
But faith tells me how big my gas tank is, how many miles I've driven and computes these numbers. I can confidently drive from my house to Katy, Texas, an hour away with the gas light on. I was a bit concerned when starting out, but I went over the calculations, and decided to trust them. I made it to Katy.
So, this is how it works... I don't look at the gas light in my car.
Why is this so difficult for outside the car?? It's not. I'm not looking at the gas light. The gas light is not reporting good information to me. I'm getting it...
The Fuel is the Word of God. If I fill up, I'll be fine. However, I need to keep fuel, or I'll be in trouble.
the gas tank is me. The gas light is my situations... bank account, car repairs, rising costs...
So, I fuel up at Godco, and stay full. I know that He meets my needs and I should not worry. This is my calculations.
Object lessons... what I use to teach my kids, God has now turned and is teaching me.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Puppy training

I have several sources of assistance for training Pixie. One is a personal trainer, who graciously donated her time and training program to help us with our Pixie. (Thank you Annie!!)
The second is a really cool free training guide located here You must have a PDF reader.
I was using the Pet Expertise guide first, and love the checklists! The checklists are written so I can sit with my kids and tell them the goal, and they get it.
She has learned her name, to Sit, and we're working on Come. She is very smart, and if she thinks she should get a treat for performing the task, she will not do as asked until she gets the treat. Once we get a few treats, she does as asked.
There was some sort of abuse... when we are feeding her treats, she shys away, making it difficult to offer more than verbal praise with the treat.
Most "accidents" are actually our fault... she has separation anxiety and barks when I leave the room. We tend to ignore the barking, and some of it is a let me out bark.
I tried the Cesar Milan way, and really liked that he thinks we all need balance in our lives, including our spirituality... but he wants to correct people, not pets. I have Jesus to correct me, so I stopped reading Cesar's book and used that time to read more Bible.
Pixie is also having to be taught to play with others, being abandoned. And we are trying to socialize her with other dogs, as she has a bit of aggression.
Post more updates later.

Life is tough

Like many Christians, I thought that when I accepted Jesus, I would never have any problems.
This was proven over and over in my life to be incorrect. I have had troubles, my kids have gotten into trouble.
What many of us realize at different times is, that though life is tough, God gives us the strength to endure, and He's with us during our tough times. You can pray anywhere, anytime, out loud or to yourself, and know that He hears you is is with you.
My current journey is becoming a godly wife and mother. Proverbs 31 is very high standards, that I don't meet yet, but I'm working on it.


Thursday, May 7, my oldest daughter gave me my mother's day gift. A twice abandoned puppy we named Pixie. Pixie is part Chihuahua and part terrier and weighs in at 4 1/2 pounds.
She has been part of our family now for almost 3 weeks, and is fitting in nicely. She has learned her name, how to Sit, and Come.
Pixie has severe separation anxiety when I leave the room. This looks to be our toughest battle with her.
I will post updates on her as we progress.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Snow-capped Chocolate Bites

I found this yummy treat in grandma's recipes. I did have to get creative, as this was a very faded copy.

1/2 cup cooking oil
4 oz unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup powdered sugar

Mix oil, cocoa and granulated sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well between. Add vanilla, flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well and refrigerate several hours.
Heat Oven to 350. roll tsp size ball into powdered sugar and place on greased baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes.

These are delish!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Cinnamon Dolce Coffee or Cappuccino - My version

Cinnamon Dolce
My version of the coffee house drink!! Use 16-20 oz cup
1 TBS Cinnamin syrup
1/2 TBS Light Brown Sugar

Add syrup and sugar to cup. Add milk to ¼ filled. Add coffee. Adjust syrup to taste.

1 TBS Cinnamin syrup
1/2 TBS Light Brown Sugar
Steamed milk – use steamer or heat and use small hand mixer to froth
1 shot Espresso (1 ounce) - use espresso machine or make 1 cup strong coffee, pour coffee thru coffee maker again.
Add syrup and sugar to cup. Add espresso shot, fill with steamed milk.

Caramel Machiato coffee or Cappuccino (my version)

Caramel Machiato
1 TBS Caramel syrup – the ice cream kind
1 TBS Vanilla Syrup

Add syrups to cup. Add milk to ¼ filled. Add coffee. Adjust syrup to taste.

1 TBS Caramel syrup – the ice cream kind
1 TBS Vanilla Syrup
Steamed milk – use steamer or heat and use small hand mixer to froth
1 shot Espresso (1 ounce) - use espresso machine or make 1 cup strong coffee, pour coffee thru coffee maker again.
Add syrups to cup. Add espresso shot, fill with steamed milk. Adjust syrup to taste. Gently squeeze caramel syrup on top of foamed milk.

Jim Breard's Meatloaf

INGREDIENTS (6 to 8 Servings)

½ Cup of milk, half & half, condensed milk, or light cream
3 slices of whole wheat or white bread (crusts removed), or substitute ¾ cup of bread
crumbs. ( I prefer Italian flavored bread crumbs)
1 onion finely chopped (red, white, yellow or Vidalia may be used. I prefer red onion)
1 bunch of green onions or scallions, finely chopped
1 green, yellow or red bell pepper, seeds removed, chopped fine or minced
2 or 3 stalks of celery, chopped fine. The green leaves can be used.
1½ pounds of ground meat, which may be ground beef, ground veal, and ground pork. If
only ground beef is used, lean is better. If mixed, use only ½ pound of pork. Some
cooks use ½ pound of all three, others prefer 1 pound of lean beef and ½ pound of pork,
and some prefer using all lean ground beef.
2 or 3 eggs, beaten well with a fork or whisk.
½ to ¾ cups of ketchup, or ½ can of commercial spaghetti sauce, such as Hunt’s. I prefer
to use the spaghetti sauce, reserving the remaining half can for the sauce.
½ cup of fresh parsley, finely chopped.
½ teaspoon of nutmeg, freshly ground if you have it.
1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning.
½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese.
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped, or approximately 1 TSP of commercial chopped garlic
1 small jar of mushrooms, finely chopped (optional)
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.


4 X 10-inch loaf pan
Medium bowl
Large bowl
Large spatula


1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Measure the milk or cream into a small bowl and add the bread slices or bread crumbs and let them soak until you need them, at least 10 minutes.
3. In the large bowl, mix together the meats, bread or breadcrumbs and milk, eggs, ketchup or spaghetti sauce, parsley, nutmeg, onion, pepper, celery, garlic, green onions or scallions, parmesan cheese, mushrooms, and seasonings until they are completely combined. You will need to use your hands to mix it well.
4. Spray the loaf pan lightly with PAM or other light cooking spray. < /span>Remove any excess with a paper towel. Transfer the meat loaf mixture to the pan and pat it down gently to level the top.
5. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes on the center rack of the oven until the top is a deep brown and the meat loaf is pulling away from the sides of the pan. Remove the meat loaf from the oven and allow it to cool for 5 to 15 minutes on a rack before removing it from the pan for slicing. Use a large spatula to ease the meat loaf out of the pan.


1. Serve as a BLUE PLATE SPECIAL, with mashed potatoes, green beans and salad. The reserved Spaghetti sauce can be served (warmed) over the meat loaf or on the side.
2. Serve with spaghetti and a simple tomato sauce.
3. For other vegetables, consider corn, carrots, peas, and asparagus.
4. Leftovers can be served on sandwiches, with ½-inch slices of meatloaf between slices of white, whole wheat , rye, or pumpernickel bread, topped with mustard, mayonnaise, lettuce, ketchup or bar-b-que sauce, pickles, onions, etc.

Note: the juices from the meatloaf make an excellent addition to other dishes, such as soups, etc.
(original recipe from Jim Breard, Slidell, LA.)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

MYO Flavored Syrups for Coffee, Tea, etc..

Flavored Syrups
Syrups can be used in coffee drinks, sodas, ice cream drinks, teas, or with added coloring for snow cones

2 tsp Flavored extracts (vanilla, orange, cinnamon, butterscothc, etc)
1 C Sugar or splenda (any sugar substitute that can be cooked)
1 C water
In sauce pan, heat water to boiling. Add sugar and stir until dissolved.
Reduce heat to simmer and add extract. Simmer 5 minutes, remove from heat. After syrup cools, pour into a condiment jar (the kind you see salad dressing, mustard or ketchup I in) with lid.
Store syrup in fridge .

Jim Breard's WOP Salad - including linguistic of WOP


The following ingredients are suggestions, which can be used or not, according to your own tastes, appetites, and budgets. You can add other ingredients if you desire.

Lettuce, leafy types such as Iceberg, Bibb, Boston, Green or Red Leaf, Romaine. Wash thoroughly.
(You could also use the bitter salad greens such as Arugula, Endive, Chicory, Escarole, Watercress, Radicchio or Spinach leaves but I don’t prefer them. )
Tomatoes, preferably grape tomatoes (sliced in half) or cherry tomatoes (quartered) or cut-up
Creole tomatoes
Cucumber, sliced (preferably English cucumbers or non-bitter young cucumbers)
Red onion or Vidalia onion, sliced and quartered
Celery, sliced or chopped, with leaves
Green onion tops (shallots) or chopped chives
Carrots, peeled and shredded or julienned
Green olives (in brine)—rinse in cold water a few times to remove brine. Dry.
Artichoke Hearts (in brine)—rinse in cold water a few times to remove brine. Dry.
(I use “Reese brand quartered artichoke hearts. There are some good serving suggestions on the label.)
Cocktail onions (in brine)—rinse in cold water a few times to remove brine. Use sparingly.
Radish, sliced very thin, if you can digest them.
Avocado, ripe, diced
Cheese, shredded –Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Swiss—whatever kind you like
Parmesan cheese, grated
Bacon Bits
Asparagus tips and pieces
Hearts of Palm (in brine)-rinse in cold water a few times to remove brine. Slice in ½” to ¾” pieces.
Parsley, fresh chopped
French’s Original French Fried Onions
A Salad Topping. I prefer “McCormick Salad Toppins – Crunchy & Flavorful” or one of the “Sunkist Almond Accents” --- or use two different kinds if you like.

and f inally:
SALAD DRESSING---YOUR Favorite. I prefer Wishbone Robusto Italian Salad Dressing or KEN’S STEAK HOUSE Three Cheese Italian Dressing (sometimes available at Rouse’s). Or a really good Vinaigrette.
Add Salt and Freshly Ground (Fine) Black Pepper to taste.

O.K. So you’re saying “What about the _____???”! No, I didn’t forget about Bell Peppers, Banana Peppers, Hot Peppers, Pepperoncini or any other peppers. And I didn’t forget Broccoli florets, black olives, fennel, mushrooms, snap peas, snow peas, yellow squash, zucchini squash, anchovies, basil, or garlic. I just don’t put them in my WOP SALAD. Use them if you like them. It’s your salad.

Definition of WOP: From the Italian dialect “guappoD, meaning a swaggerer, or tough guy. In speaking to one, such as “Eh,Guappo! How’s it hanging, huh?” Now, the term WOP is usually used disparagingly, except in describing a salad. In Spanish, it is “guapo”.

Jim Breard, Slidell, LA.

Jim Breard's Shrimp Braised in Coconut Milk, Bahian Style

Shrimp Braised in Coconut Milk, Bahian Style
(2 Servings)

• ¾ to 1 lb. lar ge shrimp (approximately 14 to 20)
• 2 cups of water
• Salt
• 2 or 3 Tbls of lime juice
• 1 clove of garlic, chopped
• ½ of a red bell pepper, thinly sliced and cut to about 1-inch long pieces
• 1 or 2 jalapeno peppers if you want it spicy, seeds removed, chopped fine (optional)
• 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
• 1 ½ Tbls of vegetable or olive oil
• 1 can of whole tomatoes, drained, seeded and chopped, or diced tomatoes
• 1 ½ Tbls of all purpose flour
• 1 cup of unsweetened coconut milk, well stirred
• ¼ cup of green onion tops, sliced fairly fine
• ¼ cup of chopped fresh cilantro
• 1 Tbls of dende oil, if available (optional)- Brazilian Product

• De-head, peel, and de-vein the shrimp. Save the heads and shells.
In a bowl, combine shrimp, lime juice, and salt to taste. Chill covered.
Simmer the shrimp heads and shells in water for a minimum of 15 minutes. Strain shrimp stock into a measuring cup. Discard shrimp heads and shells.
In a 3-qt. sauce pan, cook the garlic, bell pepper, and onion in oil over moderate heat until soft, about 5 minutes.
Add flour to the onion mixture and cook about 1 minute, stirring throughout. Then stir in the chopped tomatoes, coconut milk, jalapeno peppers if used, and 1 cup of shrimp stock. Mix thoroughly and simmer about 20 minutes.
Add the shrimp and simmer about 3 minutes until the shrimp are cooked. Turn off heat and sprinkle the dish with the chopped green onion tops and cilantro.
If dende oil is available, pour 1 Tbls over the cooked dish.

• Serve over hot coconut rice or regular hot rice.

Jim Breard's Great White Beans


• 2 pounds of “Great Northern Beans”, i.e., white beans
• 3 cans (14 oz.) of chicken broth, preferably low sodium
• 7 cups of water
• Either a meaty ham hock or about 1 lb. of thick sliced ham, diced into 1” pieces, of equivalent amount of lean bacon slices, diced to 1”
• ½ lb. of Jimmy Dean’s Hot Sausage. (If you like it spicier/meatier, use 1 lb.)
• 1 onion, diced
• 2 or 3 Roma tomato es, quartered and diced
• 4 cubes of chicken bouillon, or equivalent amount of instant chicken bouillon granules
• 3 or 4 bay leaves
• 1 teaspoon of Liquid Smoke
• ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
• freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Optional: 1 Packet Of GOYA Ham Flavored Concentrate Bouillon Granules


Wash and sort the beans in cold water, removing any extraneous material or bad beans. Drain well.
Put the beans into a large heavy metal pot of sufficient capacity to hold all of the ingredients at a boil. Add the water and chicken broth, and bring to a boil for two or three minutes. Remove from heat. Let it stand for at least one hour.
Return the pot to heat and add the remaining ingredie nts. Bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer the beans for 2 hours or more, until tender. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. (I doubt that salt will be needed)
Remove and discard the ham bone and bay leaves.
In a blender, puree about two cups of the cooked beans (enough to thicken the liquid) and stir back into the pot.
Serve over cooked rice.

NOTES: If you like it even spicier, you could substitute a large can of diced tomatoes with green chilies for the Roma tomatoes, or add a “little bit” more cayenne pepper.
This recipe freezes well for later use.

Jim Breard, Slidell, LA.

Jim Breard's Hot Sweet Pickles

My own version of this recipe is to use:
One gallon plus one pint of dill or hamburger dill pickles
5 pounds of sugar
2 ¼ to 2 ½ ounces of Tabasco Pepper Sauce
Finely chopped fresh garlic to your own tast e

This recipe works out well if you buy Tobasco Sauce in larger quantity jars.

Jim Breard, Slidell, LA.

Aunt Martha's Hot Sweet pickles

1 Gallon of sliced dill or hamburger dill pickles
4 pounds + 1 cup of sugar ( 9 cups altogether)
1 bottle of Tabasco Pepper Sauce, 2-oz. Size.
3 or 4 cloves of fresh garlic, sliced very thin or chopped fine.

Drain the pickles well. Mix in the garlic and the tabasco sauce.
Put into a large bowl, layering with the sugar.
Cover the bowl with a towel. DO NOT Refrigerate.

Stir occasionally from the bottom of the bowl a few times each day for three days. Put back into the original jar or into smaller jars with lids. Pour in all the juice.

NOW, Refrigerate. Enjoy!


1 to 1½ lbs. of lean ground beef
1 lb. Jimmy Dean’s Hot pork sausage
1 large onion, chopped
2 ribs of celery including leaves, chopped
1 rounded tbsp of chopped garlic
1 29-Oz. can of diced tomatoes, undrained
2 29-Oz. cans of tomato sauce
1 10-Oz. can of diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
1 15-Oz. can of red kidney beans, undrained
1 15-Oz. can of black beans, undrained
1 15-Oz can of pinto beans, undrained
1 15-Oz. can of whole corn, undrained
1 envelope of dry Taco Seasoning Mix
1 envelope of dry Hidden Valley Ranch Dip dressing
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
Pepper to taste (Salt will probably not be needed)

Optional toppings:
Shredded cheddar cheese, Corn Chips, Sour Cream, and/or Avocado, peeled and chopped

In a large soup pan, brown the ground beef and sausage, while sautéing the onions, celery, and garlic. Break up the meat well while browning.
Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, diced tomatoes and green chilies, the beans and corn, the taco seasoning, and the ranch dip, stirring well. Bring the soup to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer covered for approximately one hour. Taste and add pepper if needed. Add green onions and stir in.
Serve. Add optional topping to suit the taste of the diner.

NOTES: This is a thick, hearty dish. If you wish it spicier, you can use the HOT Taco mix, add chopped chilies, or add crushed red pepper. Other types of beans, such as Ranch Style beans may be substituted.

Jim Breard, Slidell, LA.



• 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
• ½ of a medium onion, chopped
• 1 Tbls Olive Oil
• 2 8-once boxes of frozen spinach
• 2 chicken bouillon cubes
• 3 cans of chicken broth
• 1 cup of water
• 1 rounded tsp of basil
• ¾ cup of evaporated milk
• Salt & Pepper to taste
• 1 Can of boneless chicken (Optional)
Served with:
• Lime or lemon wedges
• Sour cream

Thaw the boxes of frozen spinach. Drain off the liquid.
If you are using the can of chicken, open the can and drain off the liquid.
Sautee=2 0the onion and garlic in olive oil. Add the spinach, bouillon cubes, basil, salt and pepper. Sautee for about 1 minute and remove from heat. Cool slightly. Pour into blender and add the chicken broth and chicken if used. Puree the mixture. Pour into soup pot. Add the evaporated milk and water. Heat. Correct seasonings if necessary. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and lime or lemon wedges.



5 or 6 Tbsp of butter or margarine
12 (+/-) green onions, sliced (about 1 ½ cups)
2 or 3 Tbsp of minced or finely chopped garlic
3 stalks of celery, chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
3 cans (14-oz.) Chicken Broth
¾ tsp ground black or white pepper
3 pounds of potatoes, peeled and sliced about ¼ inch thick
4 ½ cups of milk, or substitute evaporated milk or “½ & ½”
sliced green onion for garnish

Cooking Instructions:

In a large pan over medium heat, heat the butter or margarine.
Add the onions, garlic, and celery. Sauté until tender.
Add the chicken broth, sliced potatoes, and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Stir occasionally while simmering.
Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool to handling temperature. Add the milk to the mixture.
Fill a blender or food processor about 2/3 full of the mixture. Puree’. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat until all the mixture has been pureed.
Return the mixture to the pan and heat through, stirring regularly to prevent scorching. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Salt may be needed depending on the amount of salt in the chicken broth. You may wish to add more pepper (to taste).
Garnish with green onion.

Note: Freezes well.

Jim Breard, Slidell, LA.

FRENCH ONION SOUP (Makes 4 Servings) Jim Breard


1 Tbsp vegetable oil
¾ Lb. onion, halved and thinly sliced (about 2 ½ cups)
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
¼ tsp sugar
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3 ½ cups of Beef Broth
1 dash of Worcestershire Sauce
¼ cup of dry white wine (optional)
4 slices of French bread, toasted (other types of bread may be substituted)
½ cup of shredded Swiss cheese

Cooking Instructions:

Heat the cooking oil in a saucepot. Add onions and garlic. Stir well. Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Uncover.

Add sugar and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes or until the onions are golden brown.

Add the flour and stir for 1 minute to incorporate flour. Add the beef broth and wine. Bring the soup up to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes.

Divide soup into 4 bowls. Top each with bread and cheese. (Cheese can be melted in microwave before putting into the bowls)

For more flavor, rub the bread with a garlic clove and top it with cheese before toasting.

Recipe may be doubled easily for 8 servings.

Jim Breard, Slidell, LA.

Cornbread Dressing By Christine Breard


Bake two boxes of cornbread, using whatever type of mix that you like, i.e., Betty Crocker Golden Corn Muffin & Bread Mix or Jiffy Cornbread Mix, etc. or make it with your own favorite recipe for fresh cornbread. When blending the ingredients together before baking the cornbread, add one teaspoon of sugar or honey to each box of cornbread.
Prepare approximately one pint of chicken or turkey stock, using giblets or other available parts. In a blender, shred or chop the meat into very small pieces after cooking and return it to the stock. Cool the stock to room temperature.
Note: If chicken or turkey parts are not available, shred one small can of de-boned chicken or turkey into one can of chicken broth and bring it to a gentle boil. Cool to room temperature.

2 recipes of cornbread, baked per directions.
1 pint (approximately) of chicken or turkey stock
2 medium onions, chopped medium
2 cups (about two pieces) celery with leaves, chopped medium
2 14.5oz cans of chicken broth. If you have extra chicken or turkey stock, it may be
substitute d for the canned chicken broth.
½ of a medium bell pepper, any color, chopped fine. (Don’t use more)
1 bunch of green onions with tops, chopped medium
½ cup of parsley, fresh(chopped fine) or dried.
4 eggs, beaten or whisked.
1 tablespoon of crushed red pepper.
Add black pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Crumble the cornbread into a large cooking pan, approximately 10” X14”.
Mix the other dry ingredients in a bowl, stirring them well, and spread evenly over the cornbread and mix the dry ingredients into the crumbled cornbread.
Mix all the liquid ingredients in a bowl, stir and add evenly to the cornbread mixture, stirring into the pan.
Bake for approximately 1 hour at 350-degrees, until golden brown on top. It should be moist but should have no excess liquid.

This cornbread dressing can be used as a chicken or turkey stuffing, or served as a side dish with chicken or turkey. It goes very well with giblet gravy.


2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil or whatever vegetable oil you use
3 to 4 lbs. low fat ground beef (more is OK)
1 lb. Jimmy Dean’s HOT sausage
3 or 4 large onions, chopped fine (more is OK)
4 ribs of celery, chopped fine
2 or 3 carrots, chopped fine or equivalent amount of shredded or carrot sticks, chopped
1 green bell20pepper, seeded and diced
4 cloves of garlic, chopped fine or equivalent in prepared chopped garlic (more is OK)
1 cup of red or white wine (drinking wine, not cooking wine. I use Chablis. And yes,
more is OK)
3 large (29 oz.) cans of tomato sauce or equivalent in small cans
1 large (10 oz.) can of diced tomatoes & green chilies
4 to 6 Roma tomatoes, cut into 8 or 12 pieces, or a large can of diced tomatoes. I prefer
to use the Roma tomatoes. When they are cooked down, it’s time to thicken.
1 large (12 oz.) can (you may need 2 cans) of tomato paste
1 or 2 cans of sliced mushrooms or sliced pieces and stems (optional)
Seasonings, somewhat subject to your individual tastes, but here’s about what I use:
5 or 6 whole bay leaves
2 tablespoons of dried parsley
3 tablespoons of dried basil
1 to 2 tablespoons of dried orega no
1 tablespoon of dried Italian seasoning
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Sugar to taste when it is finished simmering (I use maybe 1 or 2 tablespoons, depending on the tartness of the tomatoes and sauce when finished)

And when you finish it and taste it, you may want to add a “little bit” of cayenne pepper if you want it to be a little bit spicier. Use about half as much as you think you need, because it will be hotter than you expect, and the younger kids may not tolerate it well.

A large pot with cover, preferably with a heavy bottom like Magnalite.

Cooking Procedure
• Spray the pot with PAM or other cooking spray and wipe over the pan’s inner surfaces with a paper towel. Place the pan over medium-high heat and let it get hot for about 1 minute.
• Add the olive oil or vegetable oil and the ground meat a nd JD sausage. Brown the meat, breaking it up well and stirring to be sure it mixes well and doesn’t burn. Add salt and pepper to taste. When the meat is browned, turn off the heat or remove the pan and transfer the meat to a plate (paper plate) with a folded paper towel in it to drain the meat.
• Return the pan to the heat, add a little oil if necessary, and add the chopped onions, celery, carrots, bell pepper, and garlic. Sautee until nearly done.
• Return the meat to the pan, and stir well to bring back to temperature.
• Add the wine. Maybe add a little more.
• Add the tomato sauce, diced tomato and green chilies, and Roma tomato pieces. Add the spices, stirring well. Try not to break up the bay leaves.
• Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Stir every 10 or 15 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan to prevent burning. Cover the pan loosely to allow most of the water vapor to escape but keep in the heat. Note: if it is too hot, it will pop over o n your stove.
• After about 2 hours, the sauce will be cooked down, and ready for thickening. You can tell by looking for the Roma tomato pieces. If they are cooked in and you can’t find them, it’s ready.
• If you want to use mushrooms, you can add them now or after you add the tomato paste.
• Add the can of tomato paste. Stir in well. If it’s not thick enough, add another can. If you can’t tell if it’s thick enough, add another can. Stir in well. When and if you see a bay leaf, remove it.
• Let it simmer another 5 or 10 minutes. Taste the sauce. (I put a spoonful on a slice of white bread and taste it) Depending on the tartness, add sugar to taste until it’s no longer tart. Add salt and pepper to taste at this time. If it needs more of a spice kick , add a SMALL amount of cayenne pepper. Cook a few minutes more and taste again. If it’s good, turn off the heat and let it cool unless you are ready to serve. Re-heat when ready to serve over fresh hot pasta. Enjoy.

Jim Breard, Slidell, LA.

Aunt Martha's KEY LIME (or Lemon) ICEBOX PIE

To make LEMON ICEBOX PIE, substitute lemon juice and zest in place of lime in the recipe.

3 egg yolks at room temperature (4 if the eggs are small or medium)
Key Lime Juice, approximately ½ cup
¼ teaspoon of grated lime zest (optional)
1 14-oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 small pinch of salt
1 – 8” graham cracker pie shell
Meringue, Coolwhip Topping, Ice Cream, Whipped Cream, or Sour Cream as described below (the topping is optional)


Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
In a mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks. Stir in the juice and zest (if used), and add the condensed milk. Beat to blend the eggs, juice and condensed milk.&n bsp; While blending, add the vanilla extract and salt. Scrape down the bowl and beat until well blended. Pour into the pie shell evenly. If using a meringue, spread it over the pie, being careful to cover it to the edges. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until the meringue (if used) is browned. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
If a meringue is not used, Coolwhip Topping or Whipped Cream may be served on the pie, or use the optional sour cream recipe below.

To save time, commercial bottled lime or lemon juice can be used. However, I use at least one fresh lime or lemon for=2 0the zest and fresh juice.
To have fuller pies, if not using meringue, use three recipes of pie filling and fill only two crusts. Bake a little longer for the fuller crusts.

Optional Sour Cream Topping:

1/2 Pint or 1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/8 tsp salt

While the pie is baking, mix the sugar and salt into the sour cream.
When you remove the pie from the oven, reset the oven temperature to 425 degrees. Spread the sour cream mixture evenly over the pie. When the oven reaches 425 degrees, return the pie to the oven and bake it for 5 or 6 minutes to set the sour cream. Remove the pie from the oven. If you want to add decorations like sprinkles or maybe some lime zest, do so at this time.
Cool to room temperature, cover and wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate or freeze. Slices can be served chilled or frozen.

Note: If you want more sour cream topping, use 3/4 pint (1 ½ cups) of sour cream and ½ cup of sugar.

Just for interest, I read one recipe that was very similar to this fro m Saran Wrap, except it called for 2 whole eggs instead of just egg yokes. Otherwise it was the same.

For a larger pie, buy the larger graham cracker crust with two extra slices and fill with two recipes worth of filling. This brings the filling nearly to the top of the crust, so a topping has little room if you do this.

Jim Breard’s Cherry Pie


½ cup dried cherries
¼ cup of good brandy (approximately)

2 cans of Lucky Leaf or GV (WalMart) Cherry Pie Filling
1 Package of Pillsbury or GV rolled pie crust (contains 2 9-inch crusts) refrigerated
1 good dollop of regular honey, about 2 Tablespoons
One egg for eggwash
Small amounts of butter or margarine, granulated sugar, and cornmeal as described.

In a small jar, put the dried cherries and brandy and refrigerate overnight or longer. Usually you should check the cherries for any small pieces of stem left on them by pouring them on a paper towel before pouring them into the jar. Cover the cherries with brandy. (Use Napoleon Brandy or other good quality brandy, or any other good quality liquor such as B&B could be used.)

When you are ready to bake the pie, remove the pie crusts from the refrigerator and allow them to come to room temperature open on the counter per the package directions (approx 30 minutes).
Pour the cherry pie filling into a large mixing bowl. Add the honey, and macerated cherries and brandy into the mixing bowl and blend the mixture together well.

Butter (or margarine) a 9-inch pyrex pie baking dish. Sprinkle lightly with dry cornmeal and tap it sharply to remove any excess cornmeal. Unroll the pie crust per the package directions and place the dough for the bottom into the pie dish, forming it over the edge. Crack the egg into a cup or small bowl and mix it thoroughly for an eggwash. Brush the sealing edge of the pie crust with the eggwash. Fill the pie with the filling. (Do not overfill or you’ll have to clean up your oven. Put any left over excess filling into a small pyrex bowl and bake with the pie. Goes good over toast, ice cream or pound cake.) Put on the topcrust and seal the edges using a fork. Trim the edges. Brush the top surface with eggwash. Sprinkle the top with sugar. Ventilate the topcrust with a knifepoint in several places. Cover the edges with a lightly-buttered pie crust shield (or you can use one cut from aluminum foil if you want to). Bake for approximately 45-minutes in a 425-degree preheated oven, or until the crust is golden brown. Remove the piecrust shield about 10 minutes before the baking is finished.
Remove from the oven and let the pie cool to room temperature. Enjoy.

Jim Breard’s Apple Pie


½ cup raisins, either golden or dark
¼ cup of good brandy

2 cans of Lucky Leaf or GV (WalMart) Apple Pie Filling
1 Package of Pillsbury or GV rolled pie crust (contains 2 9-inch crusts) refrigerated
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon powder
1 good dollop of regular honey, about 2 Tablespoons
One egg for eggwash
Small amounts of butter or margarine, granulated sugar, powdered cinnamon, and cornmeal as described.

In a small jar, put the raisins and brandy and refrigerate overnight or longer. Usually you should check the raisins for any small pieces of stem left on them by pouring them on a paper towel before pouring them into20the jar. Cover the raisins with brandy. (Use Napoleon Brandy or other good quality brandy, or any other good quality liquor such as B&B could be used.)

When you are ready to bake the pie, remove the pie crusts from the refrigerator and allow them to come to room temperature open on the counter per the package directions (approx 30 minutes).
Pour the apple pie filling into a large mixing bowl. Using a sharp butcher knife, cut the apple slices into smaller pieces. Add the cinnamon, honey, and macerated raisins and brandy into the mixing bowl and blend the mixture together well.

Butter (or margarine) a 9-inch pyrex pie baking dish. Sprinkle lightly with dry cornmeal and tap it sharply to remove any excess cornmeal. Unroll the pie crust per the package directions and place the dough for the bottom into the pie dish, forming it over the edge. Crack the egg into a cup or small bowl and mix it thoroughly for an eggwash. Brush the sealing edge of the pie crust with the eggwash. Fill the pie with t he filling. (Do not overfill or you’ll have to clean up your oven. Put any left over excess filling into a small pyrex bowl and bake with the pie. Goes good over toast, ice cream or pound cake) Put on the topcrust and seal the edges using a fork. Trim the edges. Brush the top surface with eggwash. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon and sugar. Ventilate the topcrust with a knifepoint in several places. Cover the edges with a lightly-buttered pie crust shield (or you can use one cut from aluminum foil if you want to). Bake for approximately 45-minutes in a 425-degree preheated oven, or until the crust is golden brown. Remove the piecrust shield about 10 minutes before the baking is finished.
Remove from the oven and let the pie cool to room temperature. Enjoy.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Aunt Claudia's Pot Luck Potatoes

This can be mixed the day before and kept in the refrigerator, then quickly baked before the event.

2 lbs frozen hash brown potatoes, completely thawed
1/2 cup melted margarine
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pint sour cream
10 oz shredded cheddar cheese

Topping: 2 cups crushed croutons, seasoned bread crumbs

Mix all ingredients and pour into greased casserole dish. Top with croutons/bread crumbs and bake 45 minutes at 350.

This sounds like you could easily add chopped ham or ground beef, a little frozen brocolli, and maybe increase cheese for a 1 dish dinner!

Date Balls

Source unknown. Written on a very old Austin White Lime Company with no date. Phone number is listed as ALpine5-3646. I do not recognize the handwriting and the only notes are in faded pencil Merry Christmas.

8 oz dates
1 stick oleo
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup rice krispy cereal
1 cup pecans
1 tsp vanilla
1 bag coconut flakes

In saucepan, cook dates, oleo and sugar until dates are tender (3-4 minutes) Add cereal, pecans, and vanilla. Shape into balls and roll into coconut

Aunt Mildred's Easy Fruit Cobbler

This recipe is marked by my grandma as absolutely delicious!

1 stick margarine
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup milk
2 cups fruit

Mix all ingredients and our into greased 9 x 13 pan. Instructions say mix an bake 30 minutes at 350. Unless my oven is WAY off, this is baked almost an hour!

King Ranch Chicken

Supposedly, this is the "original" recipe from the Chicken Ranch. But, there are as many variations of the recipe as there were clients of the ranch...

1 chicken cooked and deboned
1 cup broth (optional)
1 can rotel tomatoes & green chilies
1 can Cream of mushroom
1 can Cream of Chicken
1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 bag tortilla chips OR 10-12 tortillas torn into bite size pieces

Spray 9 x 13 pan or use light layer of oil. Spread half of the chips into bottom of pan - if they are large, feel free to crush them some. If using tortillas, cover bottom of pan. In bowl, combine chicken, broth (if using), soups, tomatoes/chillies. Spread half mixture over chips and sprinkle with half the cheese. Repeat layer of chips, chicken mixture, cheese. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Cinnamon Breakfast Bread

I have a delish recipe for a cinnamon breakfast bread! It is our weekend breakfast treat.

1/2 cup margarine
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup raisins
1 TBS baking soda
1 TBS cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/2 - 3/4 cup milk

Turn oven to 425 and melt AT LEAST 1/2 cup margarine in a 9 x 13 pan. I usually use a little more...
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, beginning with only 1/2 cup milk. Add additional milk if necessary for dough to form a ball.

Roll until size of pan. You can cut strips before putting into pan, OR for more buttery flavor, place sheet of dough into pan of melted margarine, carefully turn over, then cut using a rolling cutter! (you will need to use 3/4 cup or so of margarine to do this)

If desired, sprinkle with cinnamon and/or sugar. Bake 15-17 minutes, or until golden. If you have not sliced, slice now and serve. If you wish to make a drizzle/dip, you can. I haven't offered this to my kids with extra sugar yet!